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NUM: Some mining companies not protecting workers from COVID-19

The union said miners were still forced to work in close proximity because their jobs made it difficult to follow social distancing.

FILE: NUM said it would meet with the management of AngloGold Ashanti. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Tuesday warned that some mining companies were failing to follow a court ruling on mitigating the effects of COVID-19.

NUM said miners were still forced to work in close proximity because their jobs made it difficult to follow social distancing.

The union said it was concerned about a possible increase of COVID-19 cases at the AngloGold Ashanti Mponeng Mine near Carletonville, where almost 200 miners had already tested positive.

NUM said it would meet with the management of AngloGold Ashanti.

Its general secretary David Sipunzi said despite interventions by mining companies to minimise staff, social distancing still was not happening.

“There is this one regulation that I feel is almost impossible to comply with within the industry, that is social distancing. I am definitely sure they failed to comply with that,” Sipunzi said.

Earlier this month, the Labour Court ordered the Chief Inspector of Mines to gazette guidelines and implement a code of practice to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 following a court challenge by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.